Disparities Identified in Post Heart Attack Treatment Between Women and Men
A new report, The Health of America Report, just released in September by Blue Cross/Blue Shield discusses shocking sex differences in cardiac care after MI.
The press release states that “women receive fewer aggressive treatments after a heart attack than men, a pattern that emerges even as a greater percentage of women than men die or become disabled due to heart attacks.”
The new report by Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and Blue Health Intelligence shows that following a heart attack, women are 27% less likely to receive angioplasties to open blocked arteries, are 38% less likely to undergo coronary bypass surgery, and 5% less likely to receive coronary angiography, a diagnostic procedure to show blocked arteries on an X-ray. The analysis is based on independent 2014 claims data and reflects care provided to 43 million BCBS insured members aged 18-64.
The report also notes that the American Heart Association has reported that women are more likely than men to die within one year of a heart attack, to have another attack within 6 years, and to be disabled due to heart failure within 6 years. In fact, heart disease far surpasses breast cancer and other recognized causes of death among U.S. women.
This information should be on the radar screen of every provider of health care for women, all health insurers, and all healthcare educators. The Sex and Gender Women’s Health Collaborative applauds Blue Cross/Blue Shield for not only studying these disparities, but also getting the word out about this issue.